1 9 7 8 (Australia)
1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 9 (Australia)
Based on the US show The Dating Game, this Aussie version produced by the Grundy Organisation and Channel Ten was initially hosted by ex-Radio 3XY DJ Greg Evans.
The show won three Logies between 1983 and 1985, notched up three consecutive gold Logie nominations for Greg Evans between 1985 and 1987, and got instant ratings gratification, peaking at 39 in 1984, where it broke all records in the 5.30 pm timeslot.
Evans was snatched from the show by the Nine Network in 1986 when, as the result of an oversight, Ten failed to renew his expiring contract.
At Nine he hosted a couple of short-lived game shows: Say G’Day (which underwent two format overhauls but failed to survive the competition in the 5.30 pm weekday timeslot) and the atrocious Crossfire (a tedious school student version of Sale of the Century which was dumped in favour of repeats of The Addams Family) before pulling out of his five-year contract after only 18 months.
Meanwhile, Cameron Daddo took over the host role on Perfect Match.
Evans returned to Ten for the 1988-89 season of Perfect Match, and then again in 1991 when it was renamed Blind Date.
The concept was corny but it had worked on TV before in the original Blind Date, from where the format was taken.
Each contestant chose from one of three hidden contestants of the opposite sex, with the couple then going away on a date for a weekend and coming back the following week to talk about how the relationship went.
Perfect Match also starred hostesses Debbie Newsome (1984-85), Tiffany Lamb (1986) and Debbie Newsome lookalike Kerrie Friend (1987-89), and Dexter – a “robot” who was supposed to mathematically predict the compatibility of the couple.
The show was originally filmed in Sydney – with Keith Scott voicing the robot Dexter and Max Rowley as the announcer – before switching to Melbourne where the versatile Bruce Mansfield assumed both roles.
Debbie Newsome made news headlines after leaving the show when her new husband, carpenter Bob Pavlovic – who she married in a lavish $22,000 ceremony – was charged with bigamy after his first wife announced they had never divorced.
The case was dismissed when Pavlovic told the court he thought divorce was automatic after 12 months if neither party contested it.
Newsome and Pavlovic married again legally five months later when his divorce was finalised.
An earlier show with the same title had screened on Network 10 in 1978, with Dave Allenby hosting.